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What They’re Saying

“Debbie Yow is a proven athletic director at the highest level, and a true professional. She has served the University of Maryland and the Atlantic Coast Conference extraordinarily well for 16 years, and I’m sure that she will provide the same kind of excellent leadership for NC State.”

John Swofford, ACC Commissioner


“Debbie Yow is one of the smartest and most influential people in all of college athletics. She is brilliant, strong-willed, focused, savvy, fair-minded and fiscally responsible, and her day-to-day leadership style leaves no gray areas in terms of academics, compliance and an athletic department’s overall commitment to excellence on and off the field.”

David Glenn, Editor/Publisher,
ACC Sports Journal,


“Debbie’s terrific. What she’s done for the University of Maryland is fantastic. She inherited a school that was called a “sleeping giant” but was terribly in debt, and she turned that debt around, and she brought the numbers down in a very tough fiscal environment. She won 16 National Championships while she was at the University and turned College Park upside down with some of the best coaches in the country, highlighted by Gary Williams’ 2002 men’s basketball national championship. What Debbie did at Maryland was sensational.

As we all know, North Carolina is a special place for her and NC State in particular. I think she’ll do a wonderful job there. She’s a go-getter, she’s a tough business person, a great selector of talent as far as coaches are concerned. She will get them fiscally responsible and get their coaches in line. She’s a great fit for NC State and with what her sister did there and the memories of Kay, I think it’s a wonderful thing for Debbie.”

Tim Brant, University of Maryland graduate
and ABC Sports Commentator


“I’ve known Debbie a long time as a basketball coach, teacher and administrator, and I have watched her work herself into a position as one of the most respected athletic directors in the country, barring gender. I think a lot of times, people will point to her as being a woman instead of such a good administrator, but quite honestly, she’s just a good administrator regardless of gender.

She is someone who really cares about student-athletes, and has always done so, and I think the student-athletes at NC State should feel very good about her as someone who has vision, who has experience dealing with helping student-athletes become the best they can be and the ability to put together a staff and an administration that she will help develop through solid leadership and direction. She has the total blend of all the things you would hope to find in a director of athletics, including fundraising ability and a financial background to administer all of it.

As a former NC State student-athlete, I want to see my university continue to thrive, and I think Debbie is just the person to help us do that.”

Debbie Antonelli, national basketball analyst
and former Wolfpack guard (1982-86)


“Debbie Yow is dedicated to student athlete welfare and the proposition that our student athletes are students first. She has consistently operated with integrity and with a transparency that has built a strong bond between athletics and the academic community. At the same time she is a fierce competitor who asks that everyone around her do better than their past best. A leader nationally and on our campus — she will be deeply missed. I wish her the very best as she returns to her native North Carolina.”

Dr. Charles Wellford, University of Maryland
Faculty Athletics Representative


“Debbie Yow is without a doubt one of the finest people to ever touch my life, and to touch our industry. NC State is so fortunate to have someone with such high levels of integrity, intelligence and passion. Debbie is the is the first person we send around the country to spread all things good about college athletics. She will exceed all expectations people have of her. NC State is blessed to have Debbie Yow.”

Tom Thomas, President and CEO, Cardinal Advisors


“Debbie Yow is a distinct leader of the Division 1A Athletic Directors’ profession. Proven over time, Debbie has set a very high standard of professionalism, respect, trust and dedication. She has a very high level of energy and an unparalleled work ethic. Debbie understands what it takes for a coach to be successful, and she is totally committed to the welfare of student athletes. In addition to her attention to athletic director duties, she is an author, advocate for our profession at the highest national level, a teacher for 10 consecutive years at the Division 1A Institute, and mentor to a countless number of peers and others.”

Dutch Baughman, Executive Director,
Division 1A Athletic Directors’ Association


“Debbie Yow is one of the most talented, creative and involved athletic directors I have ever met.  I’m sure she will be a big help to NC State.”

Barry Frank, Executive Vice President, IMG Media


“I’ve had the opportunity to work directly with Debbie Yow – particularly during her tenure at the University of Maryland and mine with the Black Coaches Association. She has always been at the forefront of inclusion on diversity in athletics. I think NC State has done itself a valuable service by hiring Debbie as their athletics director.

Floyd Keith, Executive Director, Black Coaches Association


“Debbie is a longtime friend and in many circles, she has the respect of a great number of people. She is bright, energetic and thoughtful – the reason you like having her on boards like the one she is on with us is that she’s insightful and, as a result, you can get to the issues pretty quickly. Our board is made of 43 people, some of the toughest people in the country – people like John Mack, the head of Morgan Stanley, Jerry Jones, of the Dallas Cowboys, Bob Kraft, the owner of the New England Patriots and George Steinbrenner – and we like having Debbie in meetings because she’s bright and she gets it – that’s the best way to say it. She understands where it has to go. When the chips are down, as everybody gets in this business, she knows how to be supportive and she’ll go shoulder-to-shoulder with friends on issues that are sometimes pretty contentious.

I think she will do a terrific job. I have been commissioner of a number of conferences, and I was always disappointed that Debbie was not an athletic director in any of the conferences that I was commissioner. Because she is already in the ACC, it just means the ACC will benefit by her continued work and expertise in a very difficult time. I think she will do a marvelous job. There’s never been a time that schools need divine intervention and skilled people at the AD position like they do now, and I think she is an extremely wise choice for NC State. It’s a good marriage all the way around.

Steve Hatchell, President & CEO,
The National Football Foundation & College Hall of Fame


“I have worked with Debbie Yow for 16 years as a partner in the Children’s Charities Foundation BB&T annual basketball tournament, which has distributed 8 million dollars for at risk children. I have come to admire her exemplary leadership skills which reflect her keen intellect and personal qualities of honesty, integrity and courage. We wish her all the best in her position at N.C. State. You are lucky to have her.”

Peter Teeley, Chairman of the Children’s Charities Foundation
and Former U.S. Press Secretary of George Bush, Sr.


“I have known Debbie for many years. I was delighted to assist her effort to become the Athletic Director at the University of Maryland. She was outstanding during her years in College Park, where she turned around a program that was in deep financial trouble. She leaves Maryland in great shape. I am sure that she will do a tremendous job as she returns home to assume the helm at NC State University. Wolfpack Nation is delighted to welcome Debbie to Raleigh.”

U.S. Congressman Howard Coble